It is generally accepted that birds perceive pain along neurological pathways similar to those in mammals. However, as discussed earlier, birds may indicate pain in less obvious ways than domestic mammals. They appear to respond to painful stimuli in one of two ways:

‘Fight-or-flight’ responses:

Excessive vocalisation.

Wing flapping.

Decreased head movement.

Conservation–withdrawal responses:


Closure of eyes.


Fluffing of feathers.